3/11/2019France, Italy, UK: Speed Camera Destruction Roundup
Anti-speed camera actions continued throughout England, France, Italy and Luxembourg last week.
For the seventeenth straight week, French drivers wore the yellow vests they are required by law to carry at a series of weekend protests against President Emmanuel Macron and his anti-motorist policies. Macron took advantage of a law passed last month designed to crack down on protests by taking a power once reserved to a judge to ban certain individuals from participating in a protest. The new authority was given to prefects, local officials who are appointed by the president. This weekend, the Interior Ministry counted 28,600 participants, down sharply from 39,300 the prior week.
While the government's increased use of water cannons, teargas and batons has succeeded in diminishing the number of active protesters, attacks continued on what has become the symbol of government repression. In the Provence region, two-thirds of the speed cameras have been knocked offline since the Yellow Vest protests began in November.
On Saturday, vigilantes were active along the RD1044, destroying four automated ticketing machines in Fourdrain, Crepy and Festieux. On Friday, vigilantes sprayed orange paint across the lens of the speed camera on the RD46 in Sercoeur, preventing it from issuing any automated citations. L'Est Republicain noted that copies of the newspaper were taped over the lens of the speed camera on the CD438 in Bussurel. White paint blinded the speed camera on the RD13 in Mont-le-Vernois on Tuesday, even though the device had only just been installed the day before. The speed camera on the RD939 in Berles-Monchel was spraypainted brown on March 3. On the same day, the speed camera on the D938 was set on fire and the camera in Mazerolles was painted white.
In Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, vigilantes sprayed purple paint over the lenses of a speed camera on the A4 freeway on Sunday, Luxemburger Wort reported.
In Watford, England, the speed camera located near the intersection of Rickmansworth Road and Harwoods Road was twisted so that it now faces away from traffic, unable to issue tickets, according to the Watford Observer. In Staffordshire, motorists are so angered by the use of mobile speed camera vans that they have begun to take matters into their own hands.
"Cases have included eggs being thrown, wing-mirrors smashed, damage to front headlights and tires deflate," a police spokesman told the Stoke Sentinel. "This is in addition to threats to the speed camera technicians as they perform their duties."
On Sunday, a speed camera caused an injury accident on the SS77 freeway near Montecorsaro, Italy. A car slammed on the brakes as soon as it saw a speed camera, causing a three-car pileup, Il Messaggero noted. On Wednesday, the speed camera on the Via Manzoni in Sesto was covered with a tablecloth, preventing it from issuing tickets, according to La Provincia. In Borgo Virgilio a pair of newly installed speed cameras were blinded on March 2, Voce di Mantova reported.